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Wesley's Notes on the Bible
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XII

1. Matt. xxi, 43; Luke xx, 9.

10. Psalm cxviii, 22.

12. They feared the multitude - How wonderful is the providence of God, using all things for the good of his children! Generally the multitude is restrained from tearing them in pieces only by the fear of their rulers. And here the rulers themselves are restrained, through fear of the multitude!

13. Matt. xxii, 15; Luke xx, 20.

17. They marvelled at him - At the wisdom of his answer.

18. Matt. xxi, 23; Luke xx, 27.

19. Deut. xxv, 5.

25. When they rise from the dead, neither men marry nor women are given in marriage.

26. Exod. iii, 6.

27. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living - That is, (if the argument be proposed at length, ) since the character of his being the God of any persons, plainly intimates a relation to them, not as dead, but as living; and since he cannot be said to be at present their God at all, if they are utterly dead; nor to be the God of human persons, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, consisting of souls and bodies, if their bodies were to abide in everlasting death; there must needs be a future state of blessedness, and a resurrection of the body to share with the soul in it.

28. Which is the first commandment? - The principal, and most necessary to be observed. Matt. xxii, 34; Luke x, 25.

29. The Lord our God is one Lord - This is the foundation of the first commandment, yea, of all the commandments. The Lord our God, the Lord, the God of all men, is one God, essentially, though three persons. From this unity of God it follows, that we owe all our love to him alone. Deut. vi, 4.

30. With all thy strength - That is, the whole strength and capacity of thy understanding, will, and affections.

31. The second is like unto it - Of a like comprehensive nature: comprising our whole duty to man. There is no other moral, much less ceremonial commandment, greater than these. Lev. xix, 18.

33. To love him with all the heart - To love and serve him, with all the united powers of the soul in their utmost vigour; and to love his neighbour as himself - To maintain the same equitable and charitable temper and behaviour toward all men, as we, in like circumstances, would wish for from them toward ourselves, is a more necessary and important duty, than the offering the most noble and costly sacrifices.

34. Jesus said to him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God - Reader, art not thou? then go on: be a real Christian: else it had been better for thee to have been afar off.

35. Matt. xxii, 41; Luke xx, 41.

36. Psalm cx, 1.

38. Beware of the scribes - There was an absolute necessity for these repeated cautions. For, considering their inveterate prejudices against Christ, it could never be supposed the common people would receive the Gospel till these incorrigible blasphemers of it were brought to just disgrace. Yet he delayed speaking in this manner till a little before his passion, as knowing what effect it would quickly produce. Nor is this any precedent for us: we are not invested with the same authority. Matt. xxiii, 5; Luke xx, 46.

41. He beheld how people cast money into the treasury - This treasury received the voluntary contributions of the worshippers who came up to the feast; which were given to buy wood for the altar, and other necessaries not provided for in any other way. Luke xxi, 1.

43. I say to you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all - See what judgement is cast on the most specious, outward actions by the Judge of all! And how acceptable to him is the smallest, which springs from self-denying love!

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